Lionel Messi helped Barcelona script a 3-1 victory over Borussia Dortmund in a UEFA Champions League Group F encounter. This marked the Argentine playmaker's 700th appearance for the defending La Liga champions.
He assisted Luis Suarez in the 29th minute when the Uruguayan scored the first goal for the Catalans. Then, the 5-time Ballon d'Or winner scored in the 33rd minute, before assisting Antoine Griezmann in the 67th minute to ensure that his side finishes on the top of their group rankings.
Suarez set up the ball to help Messi score in one of the special matches of his celebrated career at Barcelona. Suarez and Messi have already scored 800 goals between them for Barcelona.
Messi played magical football throughout the game. However, the only negative aspect of the match from the Argentine's perspective would be the yellow card that he was shown. He was booked for diving during the second half.
Messi now has 613 goals for Barcelona together with 237 assists. Meanwhile, the Argentine forward became only the second player in Barcelona's history to represent the club in 700 games. Xavi Hernandez is the only player to stay ahead of Messi, with 767 appearances.
Messi also has more trophies than any individual in the history of the Spanish club. He has 34 trophies under his belt. Last night's goal also ensured that Messi has now scored against 34 different opponents in Europe. This indeed is a Champions League record.
This year, Ernesto Valverde's side is aiming to win La Liga as well as the Champions League. If that happens, then Messi's tally can soon reach 35 or even 36 trophies.
For Dortmund, substitute Jadon Sanchez scored in the 77th minute to reduce their deficit. Now, the German side would only hope that Barcelona wins against Inter Milan. At the same time, Dortmund must win against Slavia Praha to ensure qualification into the round-of-16.
Both Inter and Dortmund are standing on 7 points. A draw between Barca and the Italian side will mean that Inter will finish with 8 points. In that case, the Bundesliga side must claim victory against Slavia.
Valverde's men will travel to Milan on 10th December for an away match, while Dortmund plays Slavia at home on the same date.